San Jose Stage Company–hailed as "the company that never says never" by Stark Insider and one of "Ten small Bay Area theater companies you should know" by the San Jose Mercury News–has been producing and premiering works of explosive power and social resonance since 1983. Professional actors fill the stage with new and classic works by the likes of David Mamet and Neil LaBute every year, but the company’s work extends beyond its intimate theater space—whose capacity of 200 ensures that no one gets a bad seat or, probably, runs into the evil twin they haven’t met yet. Programming spills out into the streets of San Jose in events that have included indie hip-hop concerts, art-walk performances, and partnerships with smaller theater groups and high-school drama classes.
When The Retro Dome first opened its doors three years ago, it was with the knowledge that its life would be brief and yet explosive. From the start, the owners of the building planned to demolish it at some point in the future. Yet that didn’t stop the staff from making use of the former Century 25 Theater’s stadium-style seating, refurbished chairs, and massive dome. They decked out the interior with vintage, retro-modern décor, complete with a candy counter slinging Pop Rocks and JujuBees. The foreseeable, yet fuzzy ending has recently come into sharp focus, though. The Retro Dome will go dark on January 31, 2013, bringing to an end nearly four years of live music and sing-along cinema.
Trained by legendary acting teacher Sanford Meisner, Christy English Wioncek opened the Bay Area Acting Studio to teach a new generation of actors how to?in the words of her mentor?"live truthfully under imaginary circumstances." Her stable of equally Meisner-steeped instructors leads classes including introductory adult courses, intensive courses for working thespians, and children's classes for young'uns looking to break into the industry early or convince babysitters they've been diagnosed with a life-threatening ice-cream deficiency.
Award-winning dancer Hans Schmitt founded Dance Boulevard back in 1997 as "The Floor." Since then, he has coached students of all sashaying abilities, enlisting the expertise of several instructors and the gravity-reducing power of NASA wallpaper to hold group and private lessons. The studio comes alive every weeknight with styles ranging from tango to swing, and regularly scheduled dance parties give guests and teachers the chance to schmooze between spins. Promoting educational outreach through rhythm, youth programs instill a passion for ballet, jazz and tap among newer generations.
While studio owners and eight-time Canadian ballroom-dance champions Delphine Romaire and Dominic Lacroix instruct more advanced levels, their staff of champion instructors teaches the tender-footed to trip the light fantastic at Elite Dance Studio. Four weeks of 90-minute beginner classes get hips shaking and calories burning in tandem with the floor. Hone limb acuity with basic steps such as the cha-cha, quickstep, jive, and foxtrot, or let waists eschew inertia with whirling waltzes and speedy sambas. No previous dance experience is necessary, so neophytes need not worry about classmates judging them after they attempt to hold their partners by the Freudian super-ego.
ComedySportz’s troupe of all-star laughletes is considered to be not only comedic, but also to have good sportsmanship, since there’s no swearing allowed and the subject matter is suited for all ages. Take a friend, relative, significant other, or the relative of a friend’s significant other to see two teams of expert improvisers fight for laughs through scenes, games, and songs based on audience suggestions.